The Cleopatra Project Named Virginia Master Naturalists Most Impactful Project of the Year

February 28, 2024 by

The Cleopatra Project graphicVirginia Master Naturalists (VMN) has named The Cleopatra Project — a collaboration among VMN, UVA School of Medicine, and the UVA Health’s Blue Ridge Poison Center — as the Most Impactful Project of the Year.

The outreach program by VMN chapters across the state aims to educate the public on how to live safely and respectfully with Virginia’s poisonous and venomous animals. Virginia Master Naturalist Alfred Goossens led the project in 2021, in response to hundreds of reports of human exposure to poisonous and venomous animals annually in the state. The resulting peer-reviewed reference guide, featuring 32 poisonous and venomous animals in Virginia, is available online. Printed copies are also distributed, and The Cleopatra Project team hosts presentations at libraries and to volunteer and professional groups.

“It has been a wonderful collaborative partnership to work with the Virginia Master Naturalists to create this award winning publication that helps to educate the public on these amazing animals found within Virginia’s natural habitats,” says Christopher Holstege, MD, UVA Professor of Emergency Medicine; Chief, UVA School of Medicine Division of Medical Toxicology; Medical Director, UVA Health’s Blue Ridge Poison Center.

A companion guide, The Socrates Project: Poisonous Plants of Virginia, is also available.

Thank you to all involved for cultivating healthy communities statewide.


Filed Under: Honors & Awards